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Pristiq Withdrawl Symptoms


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#1 In_Remission_JLomas

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 07:28 AM

After 6+ years of being on everything at one time or another (Wellbutrin, Prozac, Ritalin, Effexor, Pristiq, Buspar are the ones I remember) my psdoc and I have decided to cut me loose! Yeah! I think.

I have been taking Pristiq (50 mgs) for close to a year - with Buspar for those times I know anxiety will rear its ugly head - and stopped on Saturday. There was no titrating down since I'm on the lowest dose. The psdoc said for me to take Buspar 2x a day for at least a week to cut the anxiety down. I gave that up today (Tuesday) since I think it was contributing to my fuzzy brain.

When I went off Effexor (after almost two years) I titrated down and started Pristiq as soon as I stopped so I didn't really experience bad withdrawal symptoms. This time, I'm on my own.

Has anyone done this before? If so, any help for the fuzzy head feeling that doesn't involve another Rx? Red Bull? Caffeine? Meditation? Exercise? Anything?

Last night I had horrible weird freaky dreams (I was possessed by the devil while asleep in my bed, wearing the PJs I was really wearing which really distorted reality when I woke up!), shakes, and possibly a few brain zaps. I don't think I can survive another night of that. I don't want to add sleep deprived to my list!

To paraphrase Reba - The world doesn't stop for my crazy brain. I still need to work effectively, be a mom, and a wife so any help on how to do so would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Jen



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#2 Sasha

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:31 AM

It often helps to do a few days, or maybe even one day, I don't remember, of prozac. It's longer half life can significantly lessen the withdrawal crap.
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#3 Blue Heron

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:44 AM

If you'd rather not take another prescription, getting some exercise may help. When your body's tired, your brain may give you more of a break. Avoiding caffeine after 3 p.m. might make it easier to sleep, too. Cut yourself some slack on doing everything as well as usual for a few days, and give it time.
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"Note also how we don’t worry about taking medicine for pain the way we often do about taking 'happiness' pills like antidepressants. We worry that by artificially changing our mood we risk not being 'us.' But no one feels inauthentic because he took ibuprofen to relieve his back pain."

--"Happiness and Its Discontents," essay in the New York Times by Daniel M. Haybron, the author of the book, Happiness: A Very Short Introduction.


#4 In_Remission_JLomas

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 06:30 AM

If you'd rather not take another prescription, getting some exercise may help. When your body's tired, your brain may give you more of a break. Avoiding caffeine after 3 p.m. might make it easier to sleep, too. Cut yourself some slack on doing everything as well as usual for a few days, and give it time.


Thanks, I feel much better today (day 5). No fuzzy head and while my dreams were vivid last night, they weren't frightening. I spent about an hour and a half on the Wii doing different exercise programs around 7 last night which I think helped clear my head.

The exercise is a good choice anyway since I'm going off all the meds. I've gained 40+ pounds while on them and can't seem to lose it regardless of diet and exercise. This, of course, made me even more depressed and I refused to up my dose again and feel like I've already tried everything out there.

I did chicken out a little and take a Zanax at about 9 last night to ensure I would sleep. I'm going to try exercise tonight and no Rxs. Hopefully that will work!

Jen

#5 Blue Heron

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 07:04 AM

Thanks, I feel much better today (day 5). No fuzzy head and while my dreams were vivid last night, they weren't frightening. I spent about an hour and a half on the Wii doing different exercise programs around 7 last night which I think helped clear my head.

The exercise is a good choice anyway since I'm going off all the meds. I've gained 40+ pounds while on them and can't seem to lose it regardless of diet and exercise. This, of course, made me even more depressed and I refused to up my dose again and feel like I've already tried everything out there.

I did chicken out a little and take a Zanax at about 9 last night to ensure I would sleep. I'm going to try exercise tonight and no Rxs. Hopefully that will work!

Jen


I'm glad it's getting more bearable. Your best bet is to eat right, exercise, maintain a regular sleep schedule, and see a counselor when life throws you a curveball.
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"Note also how we don’t worry about taking medicine for pain the way we often do about taking 'happiness' pills like antidepressants. We worry that by artificially changing our mood we risk not being 'us.' But no one feels inauthentic because he took ibuprofen to relieve his back pain."

--"Happiness and Its Discontents," essay in the New York Times by Daniel M. Haybron, the author of the book, Happiness: A Very Short Introduction.


#6 chiara

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 09:32 AM

are you tapering? with any of these meds i would do a slow taper even if it requires getting a pill cutter and slicing a little off the side each day as you go down. each day, slice a little more. when i got off effexor, i used to open up the capsules and take out a few granules at a time. i've found the best way to go off of these things is slowly. good luck.
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#7 chiara

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 04:03 PM

I actually cut my Pristiq 100 in half because my insurance wont pay for 50mg 2x a day. If I take 100mg once a day, I get discontinuation effects like brain zaps. I have talked to both the pharmacist and my psychiatrist about cutting the pristiq and they both have said it was ok and that it probably just gives me more of an immediate release effect. I've cut it in half since I have been on it.
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Past meds:
AD: Prozac, Zoloft, Serzone, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Strattera, Paxil
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MS: Lamictal, Depakote, Trileptal, Lithium (gave me a rash)
Others: Ambien, Rozerem, Trazodone

#8 bird mcbirdson

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 09:54 PM

I was only on pristiq (50mg) for a couple months and stopped last saturday. i have not stopped crying since. seriously, anything makes me cry. i look at my cat and i burst into tears.
i finally went to the doc today and she put me on sertraline to give me some sri cushion. i'm curious to know if anyone else has had that happen and if i should have just tried to ride out the tears?
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#9 LovelyThoughts

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:04 AM

Since no one answered the last question Im wondering if mine will get viewed and answered since I can't start a new topic as per site rules.

Anyway, my question is..
I've been tapering off Pristiq for the last 2 weeks. Pdoc said to take the 50mg every other day & if I needed to cut them in half on the in between day then I could. I did the whole pill every other day with no problem, then another week of half every other day with no problem, until last night. Im having what I guess you could call dizziness. I feel like whenever I move my head or eyes my brain is spinning around in my head like one of those compases on dash boards. The kind with the ball in water. Is this a side effect of coming off? How long can I expect it to last? My moods are kinda screwy, in that I am over reacting to issues (that are real issues) but I guess that is to be expected.
TIA
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#10 chiara

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:41 PM

YES! this is a side effect of coming off of pristiq. you can read about effexor on the main drug page as they are similar and related but really the main point is that pristiq and effexor have AWFUL discontinuation effects. dude, that every other day stuff is horseshit if you are sensitive to discontinuation of one of these tricky meds. pdocs that say that have really never felt those effects they are also.

for example, i am supposed to take 100mg once a day but just that leads to discontinuation symptoms because my brain/body cannot wait 24 hours. i start to feel discontinuation before i hit 24 hours. even though pristiq is controlled release or whatever, my pdoc and i talked to the pharmacist about cutting the pill in half and i take 50 twice a day. they said that it may inhibit some of the controlled release but that it was ok.

YOUR ANSWER: what i would do as i have plenty of experience going on and off pristiq and effexor as these are my "drugs of choice." if you are going down from 50 once a day, i would cut a bit off the side of your 50 and make it a 40 and take that for a few days, maybe even a week. then go down to 30, etc. when you start to feel the discontinuation effects, slow down. it could take a few weeks, it could take a month or more. it kind of depends on your sensitivity. i took almost 2 months to get off of effexor but i did it so i didn't feel like crap and flip out. pace it and monitor those symptoms you were explaining above since those are discontinuation effects, loud and clear. good luck!
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#11 LovelyThoughts

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for the advice! I di see my pdoc & she was concerned so I am doing the half pill daily again and adding prozac to help. I see her again in a few ays for the next step. If this doesnt work I will ask her about doing the "shaving". My other option was to clear my schedule for a week & suck it up
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#12 chiara

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:48 AM

good luck. i think everyone has different sensitivities to this which is why the standard advice by medical professionals may work for some but not for everyone. update us with how it goes.
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#13 LovelyThoughts

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:40 AM

She gave me another starter pack & said I could quarter them...or do whatever it takes, if I have to quarter them, shave them..lol..I love this pdoc.
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#14 chiara

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:46 AM

yay! it's nice when you run into docs who are helpful and understanding...
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#15 LovelyThoughts

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:54 PM

I have to say Im a lucky duck with this one. Doesn' t happen often for sure! And so far so good with quartering.
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#16 chiara

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:07 AM

:mad:
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#17 Eileen06

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:37 AM

It often helps to do a few days, or maybe even one day, I don't remember, of prozac. It's longer half life can significantly lessen the withdrawal crap.


I started weaning off Prestiq 50mg last month with 10mg of Prozac. But the withdrawal is so tough that I am on week 5 of daily 10mg of Prozac. I am divorced with 2 teens and I work full time, I have a lot of crap in my life and some days don't know it its the withdrawal or its just me. The physical withdrawal is joint pain, headache's, nausea, dizziness, unable to turn my head quick( notice that while driving) My last dose of Prestiq was 2 days ago, the longest I have gone is 3 days off and feel the anxiety and physical is to much to bear in my living circumstances. I have been off and on meds sind 2000. The longest being Prestiq since 2008 and only got off for 6 months only to try something else. I finally got out of my marriage in 2009 and now that I am feeling stronger, yes it has taken awhile, but with out getting into the why's I just felt now I could try to go off. I am working out on a regular schedule, I make sure to eat more fruits/veggies and more often, in other words I am putting the focus on me for the first time in what seems forever. I need the support of people going through withdrawal so I can make it this week. I want the other day to be my last dose of Prestiq and next week wean off prozac.
Any advise on helping me through this hell is welcome, yes I have gone off before and done it rather quickly and I HAVE NO IDEA how I did it!!!
Thanks :)
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#18 Boom

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:26 AM

I wouldnt advise weaning off the by cutting them half, due to the time release capsule. I also do not recommend alternating days (50 one day, then nothing the next etc, coz of confuses the jebus out of your mind state.
I am just going to fight (or gracefully accepted) each awful withdrawal symptom as it I punches me in the brain.
"experts" say it may last for a MAXIMUM off 4 weeks
Il
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#19 Boom

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:34 AM

I was only on pristiq (50mg) for a couple months and stopped last saturday. i have not stopped crying since. seriously, anything makes me cry. i look at my cat and i burst into tears.
i finally went to the doc today and she put me on sertraline to give me some sri cushion. i'm curious to know if anyone else has had that happen and if i should have just tried to ride out the tears?


I think ride it out...this is my plan so I'm biased, I just don't want to add something else into the mix, remember it soon will pass, and your brain will be refreshed and able to think by itself for a lil while.
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#20 ryder

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 08:46 AM

I am on day 6 off pristiq after over a year taking 100mg daily. while it helped with the depression my triglycerides, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight went through the roof. I stopped cold turkey and have had some pretty nasty side effects. The brain zaps, dizziness, brain fog (best way to describe it) and really wild sometimes frightening dreams.the brain zaps and brain fog and dizziness have gotten better, my weight and BP are dropping . I've done alot of research on the detox and knew what was coming. Your never ready for the reality of it . I'm taking a high dose of omega 3s, dramamine and milk thistle for my liver. If I had know all of the bad before starting Pristiq(and desperate) I wouldn't have gone this path.good luck on quiting if I seem to ramble I apologize.
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